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Full text of "NightRider"

the massed faces and master them. Instead, he cringed before
them, fawning for a momentary favour, grateful and showing
that he was grateful, for a respite. Or he was, an instant later,
suspicious of them, and almost sullen, anxious to be done and
gone. Or he tried to bully them. Or worse—and Mr. Munn
was almost embarrassed as he listened—he tried to vindicate
himself, saying he had always followed the best interest, or
what he took to be the best interest, of his section as his
guiding star, that if he had made mistakes, the mistakes had
come from loyalty and zeal—that he wished to be understood,
and to be clear before all men. " Clear in my office/' he said.

*' You ain't got no office!" somebody yelled,

The crowd was restless. Feet scraped on the boards and on
the gravel. My God, Mr. Munn thought, he's not the same
man, it's a different man. The crowd was stirring uneasily.
And I, Mr. Munn thought suddenly, with a shocking clarity,
not hearing that voice nor noticing the people, I'm not the
same man.

He hung poised on the brink of that thought, as on the
brink of a blackness. It seemed to draw him, intoxicatingly,
as with a new surety. But slowly, with an effort of will almost,
he recoiled from its fascination. He forced himself to look at
the objects about him. At the back of the man's head in front
of him, at Mr, Christian's flushed, heavy-jowled face, now
sullen and brooding. And to listen to that voice. To its
cringing, its fawning, its bullying, its lying, its hopelessness,
its fear. All of those things were in the voice, and in the
sallow face and stooped shoulders and nervous gestures,

The crowd wavered, while that voice went on. The crowd
wavered, and to the man leaning over it, talking to it hurriedly
and uncertainly, it must have been like the earth along some
precipitous trail, the earth, usually so firm and comfortable,
that under the frightened foot stirs treacherously, twitching
like the hide of a somnolent beast that may wake to leap. Like
the beast or like the landslide. Both were there, Mr, Mumi
felt, in the crowd.

The SeEator was saying; "—and I say this to you, mj